Making a Quilt Block with set in piecing is a challenge.
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It takes extra steps and extra time.
The thought had crossed my mind, in fact I was VERY tempted, when I made the Joy Sampler for the Island Batik Ambassador July Project
But, the block units are small and I thought it would have too many seams.
Plus…I do so love a challenge, even if it drives me crazy 🙂
and there’s nothing wrong with to adding Set In Piecing to your quilting skill set!
I think it’s a good thing to do.
I do have some experience with set in piecing, but I’m not an “expert” . . . yet.
My past experience was in the beginning of my quilting career, when I feared no block.
But, with knowledge, came intimidation of more difficult blocks! Go figure!
Maybe it was really less time or patience that was to blame?
On With The Whirling Star Block
When I set out to do the Whirling Star Block (aka The Block From Hell) :),
I tried to make the block without the benefit of pulling out my go to quilting reference book. The Quilter’s Ultimate Visual Guide (affiliate link)
That taught me a lesson! It woulda been much simpler if I’d grabbed the book in the first place.
During my first two attempts
- I had the “Set In” unit on top.
- I was pressing the seams in one direction
- if the “set In ” unit is underneath.
- If the seams are pressed open
Here are 9 helpful hints for your next project with Set In Piecing
In the steps below examples from two different blocks are shown.
The whirling star is used as an example of a block with set in piecing. The steps will be the same in a different style block.
- Mark the point 1/4″ away from the edges. This is where you need to stop stitching.
- Stitch the seam to the mark (where the two lines cross in this example). Backstitch.
- After stitching, press the seams open
- If your machine allows, set your needle to the down position
- Mark the tip of the triangle 1/4″ away from the edge – this is the point where the triangle meets the seam of the trapezoids. (I marked the wrong side of fabric on my first few attempts – this is standard practice. But I like to break rules 🙂 , and decided to mark the right side of the triangle in my last practice session. I found it most helpful to see the marked spot on the triangle, while sewing the seam)
- Place the triangle, right side up, underneath the first trapezoid.
The Trapezoids are on top with the wrong side up.
- With the edge of the triangle and the first trapezoid even, pin in place, stitch to the seam, sewing to the mark on the triangle
- Now, lift up the presser foot and pivot the units and adjust for sewing. Sew the remaining side of the triangle to the other trapezoid.
- Now press the seams towards the trapezoids.
With set in piecing, the first two units are not sewn from edge to edge.
You will need to stop sewing 1/4″ away from the fabric edge.
In the whirling star block it is the two trapezoids that are sewn together.
Hopefully it was a wildly successful attempt at set in piecing…
Do what I’ve done…try, try again.
Like I said, I’m not an expert …yet :), but I wanted to share with you some tips I’ve learned these past weeks about set in piecing.
It’s getting better and I’ve already improved my skills, I know you will too.
Now, I’m going to continue to “play” with this block and I’ll see you next week.
Have a wonderful quilting adventure!
Peace, Love, joy 🙂
Adele, Creative Domestic Engineer
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